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Posing In-between

Postcolonial Englishness and the Commodification of Hybridity

Tobias A. Wachinger

While Britain is still struggling with defining a new cultural identity after empire, writers like Salman Rushdie, V.S. Naipaul, Hanif Kureishi or Zadie Smith who position themselves in a peculiar cultural space in-between are at the forefront, rather than periphery of the ongoing debates what it means to be English. The ‘hybridity’ of these celebrity writers is glowingly praised by the dominant voices of critical theory as the ultimate way out of cultural parochialism. In Posing In-between the author shows in what ways these writers are defined by the mechanisms of a commodified postcoloniality, serving the exoticist reading desires of a jaded mainstream literary industry and catering to the obsessive occupation with Englishness as it is characteristic for imperial nostalgia.
Contents: Postcolonial Englishness – The idiom and commodity value of cultural difference – The pitfalls of cultural fusion.